BLUE CREEK DAIRY FARM

Farm Visit: EUROPE!

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Had an awesome trip to the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey.
Wow, sometimes you have something happen and then later ask yourself, “Did that really happen?” That is what our trip to Europe was like! Here is the backstory: Thanks to Stacy’s Mom, Cary Fay, we got in contact with Anne Perchard of La Ferme on Jersey. She was the 2011 International Dairy Person of the Year, a past president of the World Jersey Cattle Bureau, and a long time advocate of the Jersey breed. She even gave a prize cow to the Queen in the 70s! Through email she offered to have us stay with her and see her farm and talk about the Jersey breed. We were so thrilled, and so found a way to make it happen!

On the way to Jersey, we stopped over one night and visited the Naftel’s organic dairy on the island of Guernsey.


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A Guernsey cow on the farm of the Naftel’s, the only organic dairy farm on Guernsey.

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The Naftel’s homestead of wonderful stone buildings!

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Inside the Naftel’s double three tandem (side-openers) milking parlor with Virginia talking to Liz and Jim Naftel about organic management and regulations.

The Naftel’s bulk milk tank in the milk house.
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Guernsey’s in the barn, just peaking their eyes over at the suspicious Americans!

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Outside view of the Naftel’s barn.


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Jim & Liz with their children in the Naftel’s kitchen.
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Once in Jersey, we rented bikes to get around. Here Virginia gets ready to start the 5 mile uphill trek to Anne Perchard’s farm. Our backpacks worked out great!



Next day we caught the ferry to Jersey!

First view of Jersey cows on Jersey!
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Stacy on the bike. No bike lanes, so we tried to stick to bike routes.
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The unpretentious sign for Anne Perchard’s farm La Ferme. On Jersey they use place names instead of street numbers.unknown


Stacy riding up to the farm complex of buildings. The original Georgian style house was built in the early 1800s.unknown


Anne Perchard with the calves at La Ferme.
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A better view of the main structure, the add-on on the left was the original “cow shed” or barn with a small milking parlor located where the two doors are.
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Stacy and Anne walking towards the newer dairy buildings during our farm tour.unknown


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Milking on La Ferme.

Jersey’s rushing out to pasture after milking on La Ferme.
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Don’t mess with the bull! Anne was one of the farmers who pushed for the importation of semen to improve the Jersey genetics. All imported semen must be traceable back to Jersey. They use A.I. and the bull for clean up.
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Virginia in the field with Jerseys at La Ferme.
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Anne pointing out certain championship cows on La Ferme.
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A Jersey being rudely interrupted during dinner.
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Anne pointing out the German anti-aircraft gun emplacement located on La Ferme. Anne was 7 when the occupation by Nazis began and 13 upon liberation. It was fascinating to hear her first person account.
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The new Jersey dairy that processes almost all the milk on Jersey.
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The Royal Jersey Agricultural Society building that includes meeting rooms, a show arena and lots of awesome historic photos and books.
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The gorgeous bronze statues of Jerseys in St. Helier. Anne was head of the committee to get this installed in about 2005. The head cow was modeled on one of hers by the artist in a barn on La Ferme.
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Yes, we really are cow nerds.
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On the beach at Rozel Bay. They have large tidal swings and so the boats in the background were high and dry.
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Virginia letting a “lorry” or truck pass on one of those infamous narrow roads on Jersey.
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Manor Farm, home of Classic Herd, the only Organic and producer-handler on Jersey. Pretty bold move in such a small market and community of dairy farmers.
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Inside Manor Farm’s farm store. They process fluid milk, ice cream, yogurt, soft cheeses, and butter. They also sell their own meat and veggies.
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Manor Farm’s milking parlor, herringbone style.
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Manor Farm’s bulk tank.
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Manor Farm’s pasteurizing holding tanks.
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Batch pasteurizer, ice cream maker, separator.
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Stacy getting some “love” from a Jersey on Manor Farm.
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Outside of Manor Farm’s processing area with milk cans and delivery van.
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Virginia with a small Jersey on Manor Farm. Look how small the cow is!
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European cow and speed sign. We’ve got to find one for our farm!
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Taking refuge in a hedgerow during a sudden rainstorm.
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We loved finding Jerseys everywhere! No Holsteins here!

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On the bike path going by Jerseys.
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Along the northern coast with the English Channel behind us.
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Jerseys grazing on the north shore.
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Our portrait with Anne on La Ferme. We are sitting on an old horse powered cider mill that we saw all around the island.
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Virginia on the north Cliff Trail.
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Off again! This time flying back to Birmingham England to proceed to Bishops Castle (where Stacy’s G-G-Grandfather emigrated from in 1861).

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